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In a recent study conducted by the Sports Events and Tourism Association, research showed U.S. sports travelers, event organizers and venues spent a total of $45.1 billion in 2019, an increase of over 5 percent from the previous year, generating $103.3 billion in direct, indirect and induced business sales, according to the 2019 State of the Sports Tourism Industry Report in America.
From 2015 to 2019, sports tourism spending increased 16.7%. The study conducted calculated three distinct types of impact: direct, indirect, and induced, calculating the levels of impact for sales, jobs, wages, and taxes. By monitoring the sports tourism economy, policymakers can produce future funding plans and prioritize sector development.
Sports Travelers: Nearly 180 million people traveled to a sports event in the U.S. in 2019 either as a participant or spectator, which generated 69 million room nights. The study found this was an increase of more than 10 million people since 2015, who are spending more on travel, lodging, food, and other expenses in host cities. However, transportation brought in the most revenue among the categories bringing in $12.5 billion dollars alone in 2019. The study concluded that while transportation brought in most of the revenue, that the number of individual sports travelers that stayed overnight grew by 1.4 million in 2019, reaching 96.4 million.
Sports-Related Travel Spending: Sports travelers, event organizers, and venues spent $45.1 billion in 2019, which generated $103.3 billion in business sales when including indirect and induced impacts. The number of travelers that attended sporting events increased from 169 million in 2015 to 179 million in 2019.
Employment Generator: A total of 739,386 jobs were sustained by sports tourism in 2019. This included 410,762 direct and 328,624 indirect and induced jobs. The food and beverage industry created 130,169 direct jobs in 2019, taking the lead over any other industry.
Fiscal Contributions: Sports tourism generated $14.6 billion in tax revenues in 2019, with $6.8 billion accruing to state and local governments. Sports create significant economic impacts all over the U.S. This industry will act as a benchmark for sports-related travel post-COVID-19, this study acts as a goal for the future.
Virtually all businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 but to varying degrees. The study also examines the impact COVID-19 had during the shutdown of sports-related travel, showing that numbers decreased dramatically with nearly 10 million fewer people traveling to sporting events compared to the previous year.
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